Initial, continuing jobless claims on decline in Nevada | nnbw.com
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Initial, continuing jobless claims on decline in Nevada

Geoff Dornan

gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

Weekly Claims Breakout, May 23.
Courtesy DETR

CARSON CITY, Nev. — In a sign Nevada’s economy may be turning a corner, continuing claims for unemployment benefits decreased in the week ending May 23 for the first time since March.

Continued claims are those individuals filing weekly because they are out of work. There were 343,030 continuing claims at week’s end, a decrease of 26,011 or 7% from the week ending May 16, according to updated data released Friday, May 29, by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

In addition, initial claims for benefits fell 12.5 percent, the fourth consecutive week of declines in regular claims. Just 15,607 new claims were filed in the week, a decrease of 2,230 from the previous week.

The newly enacted Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program that provides benefits to the self employed, 1099 contract and gig workers saw 37,567 initial claims filed in the week ending May 23, bringing the total number of PUA claims to 172,346.

But DETR officials say that figure includes numerous claims for multiple weeks and actually represents far fewer workers.

DETR Director Heather Korbulic qualified claimants in that program will receive payment for all weeks back to the start of their eligibility.

“As we roll into Phase 2, we are seeing at least some movement,” she said, including an increase in people now reporting they are employed.

She said she expects more improvements in those numbers this week.

The stats released Friday come a week after DETR revealed numbers for all of April, showing skyrocketing numbers to the tune of a 28.2% jobless rate, highest in America.

On Wednesday, May 27, DETR released further details on April’s stats, showing that in the Las Vegas statistical area, the jobless rate was 33.5% in April — equating to 356,652 among a labor force of 1,063,731 out of work.

Meanwhile, unemployment was 19.6% in the Reno-Sparks metro area for the month of April, with 44,689 out of work in a labor force of 227,600.

On Friday, Korbulic said employment security is also working to hire an extra 140 or more staff and expand the ability of call centers for regular benefits and PUA benefits to handle the load of people needing assistance.

Across all 17 Nevada counties, daily claim filings for the week ending May 23 were on a downward trajectory. Carson City, for example, started the week May 17 with 89 initial claims but finished on the 23rd with no new claims. For continuing claims, Carson started with 2,173 but finished with just five new continuing filings.

Accommodations and food services remains the hardest hit industry with 37 percent of the total claimants. With casinos, bars and other “non-essential” businesses starting to reopen under Gov. Sisolak’s approve for Phase 2, that should start to come down.

Those claiming regular UI benefits are urged to file online 24/7 at http://ui.nv.gov/css.html. Those unable to file on line can file by telephone by calling a claims call center between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday or 8 a.m. until noon Saturdays.

The northern call center is 775-684-0350. The rural center is 888-890-8211.

Those filing PUA claims can file online at http://www.employnv.gov or call the PUA call center at 800-603-9681.